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Women to Watch 2017
“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
That quote, by Marie Wilson, founding president of the White House Project, has come to mean a lot to me. I’ve heard it cited by many successful women talking about the importance of women’s initiatives in the financial advice business. The quote also resonates with the team at InvestmentNews and was the impetus behind the launch of our annual Women to Watch Awards three years ago.
As we start our search for our next Women to Watch, we anticipate receiving, once again, hundreds of nominations, and look forward to reviewing them and highlighting the accomplishments and promise of yet another group of 20 amazing women.
A critical issue
As the industry’s leading media outlet, it’s our mission to identify critical issues that advisers should be paying attention to, and that includes highlighting the contributions of women in the industry. In a business dominated by men, it is our hope that showcasing smart, talented and giving women will encourage other young women to dream big, both for themselves and for our profession.
After all, increasing the ranks of women in the C-suites of financial services and wealth management firms is good for business. To quote a recent report released by Pax World Investments, The Business Case for Gender Equality, “More equal gender balance in the places where corporate decisions are made — the boardroom and the executive suite — is associated with better financial outcomes.”
At InvestmentNews, we thought it was important to conduct our own research. At our Women to Watch Awards in March, we added a two-hour workshop and assembled a think tank, comprised of mostly our past and present honorees, to work together on solving a problem the industry is facing.
And what better problem to address than the lack of women in leadership roles in the financial advice industry?
Sixty women participated in the workshop and we will soon publish an executive brief to help firms create cultures that promote the advancement of women.
In fact, our entire Women to Watch initiative is intended to promote the advancement of women. Each year, we tell the stories of our Women to Watch winners, and this year will be no different.
On Nov. 20, we’ll dedicate an entire issue and a microsite to our Women to Watch honorees. In addition, we’ll announce the winner of the Alexandra Armstrong Lifetime Achievement Award.
And this year, we are adding another category we feel deserves special recognition: our Rising Star Award. This award is intended to recognize an emerging leader in the financial advice industry: someone who is still in the early stages of her career and yet already demonstrates an exceptional level of promise.
As we open nominations, I’m confident that our next class of Women to Watch will be another extraordinary group. We encourage you to nominate a woman you feel exemplifies the traits we are looking for so we can continue the tradition of highlighting these women and their accomplishments in order to inspire and motivate future generations of women.
Because remember: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”